As the patriotic pageantry of Inauguration Day gave way to the demonstrations of defiance Saturday, our new America came into view. We are two nations now, two peoples.

To understand the workings of government, it is necessary to acknowledge the mostly unseen hand of conspiracy. Only seldom do historians mention it, and even less the majority of commentators on current events; the very word “conspiracy” has acquired overtones of hysteria and emotionalism. To be styled a “conspiracy theorist” is perhaps the ultimate reproach in media-driven discourse. Yet conspiracies, difficult to detect and even more difficult to prove, are as natural an element of politics as algae is of pond water.

Throughout the presidential campaign, Donald Trump’s foreign policy positions have been anything but consistent. One day we heard that NATO was obsolete and the US needs to pursue better relations with Russia. But the next time he spoke, these sensible positions were abandoned or an opposite position was taken. Trump’s inconsistent rhetoric left us wondering exactly what kind of foreign policy he would pursue if elected.

The old order is passing away. Treaties and alliances dating from the Cold War are ceasing to be relevant and cannot long be sustained. Economic patriotism and ethnonationalism, personified by Trump, seem everywhere ascendant. Transnationalism is yielding to tribalism.

Republicans need to remember that the left's goal is not fairness but higher taxes. Treating carried interest as ordinary income for tax purposes would simply be the first step toward higher taxes on capital in general.

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